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Quick Review: Way Over Yonder Festival

Corinne Osnos |
September 29, 2014 | 11:50 a.m. PDT

Staff Contributor

Way Over Yonder Festival, presented by Norfolk Folk, played on the Santa Monica pier this past Friday and Saturday. I only attended the Friday night portion, which cast big names like indie rock band Local Natives and oldie favorite Lucinda Williams, as well as smaller names like Houndmouth and The Wild Reeds on two different stages.

The Way Over Yonder Setup (By Drew Kirsch)
The Way Over Yonder Setup (By Drew Kirsch)

The first acts of the festival played at 4:30 p.m., which provided the perfect ending to a beach day. The variety of craft beers offered in the beer tent were an added plus.  

Moses Sumney was the surprise show stealer. He sang soulful melodies as mesmerizing as lullabies to the crowd as the sun sank into the Pacific in the distance, lighting up the rides along the pier. His dance moves left little to the imagination and had all the females in the crowd (or at least me) weak in the knees.

Lucinda Williams appealed to the true country folk, what one might say is an older crowd. And as for her age, she's still got it. At 61, Wiliams unapologetically rocked the classic country look with her denim bell-bottom jeans and cowgirl boots. Her tresses were red as ever, and her face was caked in makeup. Bold, red lips completed her style. Rather than trying to appeal to the younger sect of the crowd, she stayed true to herself and her music. The devoted fans were pleased. Even those of us who showed up pretty exclusively for Local Natives were impressed, even if out of respect moreso than actual enjoyment of her style. 

Local Natives, renowned by Pitchfork for their "afropop-influenced guitars with hyperactive drumming and hooky three-part harmonies," was the last act of the night. Naturally, they outdid the expectations of every person in the crowd. Concert-goers were moving and shaking along to the mellow yet motivating beats. Favorites like "Wide Eyes" and "You & I" had the entire crowd singing along, eyes closed with hands in the air. 

Local Natives Performing Live (Neon Tommy/Flickr)
Local Natives Performing Live (Neon Tommy/Flickr)

The only true downside of the festival was that the VIP section was equal in size to the general admission section, despite the fact that there were virtually fifteen people on that side. 

Overall, WOY was an ideal way to spend one of the last warm but breezy nights of September before the fall chill set in. 

Reach Staff Reporter Corinne Osnos here



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